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tenderness for the feelings and opinions of others. We may, however, venture to observe, that true wit has no more connexion with extravagant images, than the comedy of Terence, of Fontenelle, and occasionally of Molière, has with plays of character, in which simple avarice or extravagance are drawn, instead of the covetous, or the extravagant man; or with Spanish plots, which deceive a man through his senses, not through his passions and affections. The emotion of pleasure must be retained, as well as excited; the gratified feeling must be as inseparable from the idea which gave rise to it, when it is familiar, as when it was new. Notwithstanding what we have said on this point, we will still venture to quote one specimen of this part of the work, in which a favourite subject of all epigrammatists is well displayed.
AGATHIAS, 67. iii. 56.
On a Lawyer. M.
We are not much dissatisfied with the following observations prefixed to some “ extracts from the Grecian drama."
“ Notwithstanding the success with which Potter's faithful and ani. mated translations of the great fathers of the Grecian drama have deservedly been attended, it has always appeared to me that the true spirit of their poetry might be more nearly attained, by adopting the sonorous and majestic couplet, which Dry den wished to introduce on the English stage, in imitation of Corneille and Racine; and which, however un
suitable to the purpose of representing violent and sudden enotions, is peculiarly well adapted as the vehicle both of declamatory passion, and of pathetic sweetness.”
The extracts which follow are from the most touching and tender scenes of the Greek tragedy; the thoughts such as are most in unison with those domestic feelings which come home to every heart, and the classical allusions so natural and intelligible as not to be displeasing even to the English reader who seeks only for beauty of poetry, and has no additional source of gratification in meeting with a spirited version of his favourite passages; yet we should say that the attempt had decidedly failed, if the truth of the doctrine depended on the detached specimens before us. We must, however, make two exceptions; the first in favour of the translation of a chorus in the Alcestis of Euripides, the other the address of a daughter to her father, conjuring him to spare her life ; and both of singular beauty.
ADDRESS OF THE CHORUS TO ALCESTIS. M.
Daughter of Pelias! peaceful sleep
Where the bright sun can enter never !
No spirit half so lovely ever,
Bedews with April showers
On Athens' heav'n-loved towers.
* O! could the power of verse recall
And dark Cocytus' spectred wave!
And break the darkness of the grave!
“ Most lov'd, most honour'd shade, farewell!
We know not what the gods below
Will measure out of bliss or wo;
“ Nor thou, afflicted husband, mourn That voy age whence is no return,
And which we all are doom'd to try: The gods' great offspring, battle-slain, 'Mid common heroes press the plain,
And undistinguish'd die.
“ But she who nobly died, to save
FROM THE IPHIGENIA IN AULIS OF EURIPIDES.
Iphigenia to Agamemnon.
Perhaps,' I answer'd with a playful air,
child will e'er repay
O! slay me not! respect a mother's throes,
her age uputterable woes!
O, what a dreadful thought it is to die!
Frequent use has been made of the stores of French literature lately opened to us. We suspect that Mr. Bland has a great predilection for the French wits. He seems to be familiar with the productions of Du Fresnoy, and Baraton, and Chardon, and Moncrif, and does not hesitate to avail himself of the iniscellaneous nature of the illustrations, by introducing them in an English dress, as often as any similitude of thought or subject allows. Two valuable recent publications have contributed whatever was wanting to make us thoroughly acquainted with the taste in writing and conversation which prevailed among the Parisian beaux esprits of the last century. The anonymous treatise De la Littérature Française pendant le 18me siècle, describes the result of their hours of seriousness and study; and Baron Grimm's more desultory work has supplied all that remained to be learned respecting their movements in private life, when no part was to be acted, ne VOL. III. Nen Series.
character to be kept up; in their jests and quarrels, in their
par ties and retirements.
“ Nam veræ voces tum demum pectore ab imo
From this source Mr. Bland has gleaned two or three happily expressed trifles which are not above the level of what we expected from the heartlessness and frivolity which characterized what was called la société of the French metropolis. The following are favourable specimens of the peculiar character of French sprightliness. The original of the portrait in the first is to be seen in every
circle of all societies.
“ Avoir l'esprit bas et vulgaire,
C'est le paturel d'Isabelle,
Dire seulement--Je suis belle."
" To have a talent base and low,
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